Amazon’s Exotic Animals Tied Up, Beaten and Injured Just for Tourists Selfies

Amazon’s Exotic Animals Tied Up, Beaten and Injured Just for Tourists Selfies

International nonprofit World Animal Protection (WAP) released a report on Tuesday, Oct. 3 revealing the blatantly cruel manner in which tour operators in South America capture Amazonian animals for ‘selfie’ purposes. The report’s two case studies targeted two major Latin American cities: Manaus, Brazil and Puerto Alegria, Peru. And the findings were grim.

Investigators found a multitude of animals bound, beaten, and injured for the tourist industry. Sloths were tied to trees with rope, and none survived in captivity longer than six months. Toucans were found with large abscesses on their feet, green anacondas were wounded and dehydrated, and caimans had their jaws bound with rubber bands. Additionally, both an ocelot and a manatee were found contained in minuscule enclosures, and a giant anteater sustained injuries from multiple beatings.

“We know that people take selfies with wildlife because they love animals, but they usually don’t realize that these kinds of photo ops aren’t authentic — they conceal the hidden cruelty behind the scenes,” Cassandra Koenen, WAP’s head of wildlife campaigns, told Lady Freethinker.

Image Credit: World Animal Protection

In Manaus, capital of Amazonas, the largest state in Brazil, tour companies offered photo opportunities and direct contact with wild animals on 94 percent of tourist excursions. This type of activity, which can be harmful and even  fatal to threatened or endangered Amazonian animals not found anywhere else in the world, was also explicitly encouraged during 77 percent of excursions.

In Puerto Alegria, tour officials used at least 40 animals from 24 different species for selfie purposes during excursions. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classified at least five of these species as “threatened”, and the Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) lists 75 percent of the featured species.

Unfortunately, this type of animal cruelty is not limited to the Amazon Biome, and happens to countless animals all over the world. When exploring the great outdoors, remember that you are visiting an animal’s home, and be mindful to the inhabitants. A selfie is never worth an animal’s suffering.

“The good news is that everyone can make a difference, by joining our movement and signing up to take action to reduce the use of wildlife selfies on social media,” said Koenen.

Note: Please keep comments peaceful and family friendly.

Join the Conversation


  1. KYle antiPeru

    Is it possible to name some of these tourist attractions?
    We have physically accosted 3 animal abusers in Thailand (All in Phuket) and permanently disabled 2 men in Peru who even after we warned to release
    their animals they didn’t.
    We visit such areas often. If we had names of these roadside tour operators it wouldn’t take much to put them out of business.
    One can abuse animals after being blinded or having both arms mangled.
    This is what works, not petitions.
    Please remit names of any companies or tour operators. We will then take on the responsibility of putting them out of business.

    Reply Report comment
    • chuck

      The world need more people like you! If people would act on every instance of animal cruelty there would be no animals suffering anywhere eventually!

      If you could, take a trip to Africa and eradicate all animal pouchers who kill elephants for their tusk that’d be awesome!

      Reply Report comment
  2. Wendy Cunningham

    This is just horrific, cruel & barbaric. I cant believe that tourists enjoy this. If they did not go & watch it wouldnt happen simple as that. Mustt be stopped now, would live to do same yo b*****ds responsible!!

    Reply Report comment
  3. Marifel Malacara


    Reply Report comment
  4. Carol Reins

    We humans, for the self-serving ‘selfie’ with an exotic animal, need to be put in these sentient beings lives and see how it feels to treated with such callousness and pain.

    Reply Report comment
  5. Mike Foxtrot

    I’ve submitted my application to our Lord to be resurrected as one of His angels of death.
    My pleasure to travel the globe seeking justice for those that cannot speak.

    Reply Report comment
    • Tisa

      Thank you for doing what you can to end animal abuse.
      Obviously it takes more than us signing these petitions. It keeps getting worse and more horrific.

      Reply Report comment
  6. leanne

    These bastard tour operators need to be treated the way they those captive animals. And we tourists need to stop creating this problem with our selfish demands for selfies with wildlife.

    Reply Report comment
  7. Allison Anderson

    Selfies for selfish, self-serving people. All at the animal’s expense. Sick world we live in and it’s getting sicker by the day. God bless these precious animals!

    Reply Report comment
  8. Rachael Markson

    Why is there no petition to stop this? The attached is just a *pledge* for the ignorant selfie takers..who probably don’t belong to sites like this. The people coordinating these events need to be stopped. Each day I become more and more disgusted with humans.

    Reply Report comment
  9. felineboy

    Detain the tour company operators, and the tourists, then torture them to death.

    Reply Report comment
  10. linda

    It is up to the tour guide to makes sure stuff like this don’t happen. Isn’t it his responsibility to make sure that he people see and respect the animals in the wild it would be so much more to educate the people. These kinds of guides should not have these jobs and should be reported and criminally prosecuted as for the tourists find a way to hold them accountable cause they know right from wrong and being barbaric isn’t part of being human they don’t they have feelings too. Just don’t understand.

    Reply Report comment

Get The Newsletter!

Fields marked with an * are required